Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Links: French Aliens, Guns of Dawn, and an Announcement

Before we get to the Friday links, I have an announcement: I've finished the first draft of the sequel to The Blessed Man and the Witch.  It's taken a year of brainstorming, outlining, agonizing, and banging out words one at a time to get there, but I got there.  Editing it into a readable second draft comes next, and a third draft after.  The working title of this novel will be The Nephilim and the False Prophet, but that may change if something much, much better comes along.

So yay me, and let's get to the Friday links:

  • At Sean Eaton's invaluable R'lyeh Tribune, he brought his excellent Monsterology series to a close with part three: "In David Cronenberg’s very disturbing The Brood (1979), a young woman is able to produce “psychoplasmic” offspring by converting intense suppressed emotions into fetal like growths—a kind of parthenogenetic, fatherless birth.  Here again is the Renaissance idea that monstrosity, and its destabilizing effects on the family and society, results from the erasure of paternity.  The potency and recurrence of this notion suggests it touches on some archetypal understanding about human relationships and reproduction."  Part one is available here, and part two is available here.
  • John Kenneth Muir had some interesting things to say about the 1997 movie Alien Resurrection: "Unlike all the others, this Alien film is a dark comedy.  Yes, you read that right. Alien Resurrection is a grim comedy about, among other things, human folly.  The film’s main character, a clone of Ripley, stands outside humanity and quips about the circumstances and nature of the failings she sees.  It’s all very….French."
  • Adrian Tchaikovsky's Guns of Dawn was reviewed by Greg James at Ginger Nuts of Horror: "The battle scenes are to be commended as there is a clarity to them that doesn’t always come across in works of Fantasy. The immediacy of Emily’s experiences in the field are balanced with a well-conveyed sense that her own skirmishes are a part of larger military movements taking place. She knows some of what is going on but not everything as you would expect, and so we see and understand enough of the bigger picture of the action to become involved without becoming detached from it by bald description and detail."
  • Horror Land took a fresh look at John Carpenter's They Live: "The actually Aliens themselves are an odd design choice. I don’t think ive ever been very impressed by them. It looks as if they have over the head mask on with no moving lips, which really breaks the illusion for me. They look just fine, bug eyed and weird. But it’s the lack of mobility in the face that really ruins it. You only see them in colour at the end of the film (turns out they blueish) , through out the rest of the movie you only seem them through the black tint of the glasses. Which brings me to the cinematography!"
  • Nev Murray reviewed William Meikle's novel The Dunfield Terror at Confessions of a Reviewer!!: "Lovecraftian. I don’t know much about this I have to admit. I haven’t read much Lovecraft. I get the idea though. I am beginning to fall in love with the Victorian style of horror writing and particularly the narrative style. In this story we have flashbacks to 1955 where mad scientist Muir and his dogsbody Campbell are trying to right a wrong. A wrong so bad that it has catastrophic potential. I’m not going to tell you what it is because that would just take away from the joy you will get reading the delightful descriptive narrative that Mr Meikle uses to paint a wonderful picture of sights, and sounds, and smells, of a time gone by, when technological advances meant conducting experiments in sheds, and if you didn’t get hurt then it wasn’t effective."
  • Here, I related a war story about a self-defense video I produced with Jim Arvanitis and talked about the angels in the 1995 film The Prophecy.
Illustration by Earl Geier, taken from Call of Cthulhu's Fatal Experiments supplement.

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